As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Nation's weather radar network used to track bird migration at night


Date:June 30, 2015

Source:University of Oklahoma

Summary:Using the nation's weather radar network, two doctoral students have developed a technique for forecasting something other than the weather: the orientation behavior of birds as they migrate through the atmosphere at night. 

he students have discovered a way to use the latest dual-polarization radar upgrade to measure broad-scale flight orientation of nocturnal migrant birds -- a promising development for biologists and bird enthusiasts.The approach to the problem paired Phillip M. Stepanian, a meteorology and electrical engineering student, and Kyle G. Horton, a biology student, on the study that demonstrates how the upgraded national weather radar network contributed to the understanding of animal flight orientation behavior at a large spatial scale. Stepanian and Horton may be the first to develop a practical application of polarimetric radar data for tracking migrant birds during nighttime flight.

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